Blue Ocean Society's Whale Sightings

Greetings! Thanks for visiting our blog. Our staff and interns will be posting their experiences here working on whale watch boats in NH and MA.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Aug 4 Prince of Whales

Beautiful afternoon on the ocean!

Today, the start to our trip wasn't exactly how we like to start any trip. We got a call from a local sport fishing boat of a deceased leatherback turtle. Leatherbacks are endangered and rare to see in our area. One had been reported floating in the area for the past 2 days so we decided we had a hearty enough crowd to investigate and obtain images for the folks at NOAA who keep track of these events.

A bit further offshore, we spotted our first blows- from living animals! But right before we got to the whales, a blue shark came up right in front of the boat! Great photo opportunity and views of this shy species!  Blue sharks are usually about 5-8 feet long!
Blue Shark
 Soon the humpback whales came up and one started rolling on its side and slapping its flippers on the water making a really loud noise!
Left flipper and fluke
Right flipper and fluke

Cajun, our flipper slapping humpback!

Crystal- hanging out with Cajun and getting a little active as well!

Crystal, the 1979 or 1980 calf of Salt who is famous for being the first humpback to be given a name!

Cajun- 2 flippers up!
 The coolest part of Cajun's flipper slapping was that soon after she started, we noticed another humpback in the area- about a mile away- doing the same behavior! Flipper slapping is assumed to be a form of communication, as the sound the flipper makes hitting the surface can travel quite a distance, and this was evidence of just that! The whale in the distance was Bat, another female humpback!

As we moved away from Cajun and Crystal, we approached Bat. She was no longer flipper slapping but instead diving deep.

Bat, the humpback
As it was time to go, we spotted another humpback in the area. This one was quite difficult to get looks at and never fluked for us so we are still unsure who it was. Also, a 5th humpback was making its way into the area as we were leaving! So nice to see so many whales!!

Also a small harbor seal popped up as we were leaving- perfect end to a great afternoon!

Thanks to all of our happy passengers and congratulations to Mary, winner of our raffle today!

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